STEAM Saturday – Fireworks in a Jar! (12/30/2023)

Fireworks in a jar

Fireworks in a jarNew Years Eve is TOMORROW! Why not sneak some learning into your celebration? You and your little scientist can have colorful start to the new year when you make Fireworks in a Jar! The best part is that you can do this fun and simple experiment with items you may already have at home. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A large mason or other jar
  • A smaller glass jar or bowl
  • Vegetable oil
  • Food coloring (4 different colors)
  • Warm water

First, fill your large mason jar about ¾ of the way with warm water. Then, in the small glass jar or bowl, add 4 tablespoons of your vegetable oil and 4 drops of each color of food coloring. With a fork or spoon, slowly mix around to try and break the drops of food coloring into smaller droplets.

Fireworks in a jarCarefully pour the oil and food coloring into the large mason jar with the water. Watch carefully to see what happens….

Today’s experiment is all about density. You’ll notice that your oil and water don’t mix together. Why is that? It’s because they have different weights, or densities due to their molecular structure. The food coloring will dissolve in water, but not in oil. The food color droplets are also heavier (denser) than the oil.

When you pour the oil and droplets into the water, the food coloring will begin to sink to the bottom of the oil, and when they hit the water, they begin to dissolve, causing colorful fireworks!

How can you change this experiment up to see if the results will change? Perhaps you can create a separate jar for each color. Maybe you can change the water temperature and see if that affects the outcome. Maybe you can add some fizz in the form of an antacid tablet. Prompt your child to think about what other variables they can change and how they think the changes will affect the outcome.

Check out the full activity and the science behind it from Little Bins for Little Hands HERE!

As always, get as creative as you want, and above all, have lots of fun learning together!

We’ll see you right back here next Saturday for another STEAM Saturday activity!  Scroll through the rest of our website to learn how Critchlow Adkins is Building Brighter Futures for the children and families we serve!

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